Rackspace Hosting, an enterprise-level cloud hosting company based in San Antonio, is expanding into an Austin venue of almost 90,000 square-feet next to an automotive dealership, in accommodations that would not typically be seen as a classy Silicon Hills location. It does however, fit in with the company’s previous history of successfully moving its corporate headquarters into an abandoned shopping mall in San Antonio.
That move several years ago into 1.2-million square-feet of space in a San Antonio shopping mall has worked well for Rackspace which at that time was experiencing a growth rate entailing the addition of 600 employees per year. The idea for that move originated with co-founder and chairman Graham Weston but ran into internal opposition from employees, a reaction that was shared by his CEO, Lanham Napier.
That opposition melted under the warmth of $72-million dollars in tax abatements and development grants from the State of Texas, and from a floundering suburb, the City of Windcrest. The purchase price of approximately $27-million for the mall also turned out to be a too-good-to-walk-away-from bargain.
Based on employee feedback the company has been designated as one of Austin’s top workplaces by the Austin American-Statesman. Additionally Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as a top 100 performing technology company, and by Fortune magazine as one of the “100 best companies to work for”. With more than 4,500 employees and well over $1-billion in annual revenue, the company is one of the fastest growing firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Established in 1998 as a managed web hosting company, the move into cloud computing services is a logical extension of the company’s expertise. Rackspace was involved with NASA in developing an open-source cloud management software platform known as OpenStack which is used by companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Red Hat, and IBM.
Describing itself on RackerTalent.com with phrases such as “keep Austin fanatical”, and “Are you weird enough to hang with us?”, the company prides itself on its “Fanatical Support®” of its customers provided by its “Rackers”.
Core values listed on the company website include:
- Fanatical Support® in all we do.
- Results first, substance over flash.
- Committed to greatness
- Full disclosure & transparency
- Passion for our work
- Treat fellow Rackers like friends & family
The company provides employee incentives and amenities such as a free Wi-Fi equipped shuttle moving “Rackers” between San Antonio and Austin, as well as free workout classes at an on-site gym. Other company events include Earth Day, “Racksgiving”, annual holiday soirees, and even Sumo wrestling matches to raise money for the Capital Area Food Bank; all in an effort to “keep up the fun and weirdness in the office”.
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